Many folks would like to see us back on the Moon and developing its resources.

Monday, June 29, 2009

LRO Becomes Luney Oriented

Lead the runner, throw the ball, hope it is caught.
Lead the Moon in its orbit, slow a bit upon nearing, hope the Moon's gravitational pull will whip you around in an elliptical orbit and not fling you out around the Sun.

Too slow, maybe not there. There and slowing too much and maybe plow into the Moon. Off on your target and just go whizzing by.

Not all that easy when it was done with pencil and paper and a slip stick. Easier with computer programs that help with the math. (saves on erasers)

Still you tend to hold your breath for a few days. Then there will be the orbit adjustments to circularize and ensure you are in the orbit you expected. Now do all the instruments work?

We did it with Lunar Prospector and now LRO is there to join those that have already arrived for this new season of exploration and hopefully cooperation.
AAS98-323 (387kb PDF file)
- LRK -

LRO Becomes Luney Oriented
June 29, 2009
Engineers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, confirmed the spacecraft's lunar orbit insertion at 6:27 a.m. EDT last Tuesday. During transit to the moon, engineers performed a mid-course correction to get the spacecraft in the proper position to reach its lunar destination. Since the moon is always moving, the spacecraft shot for a target point ahead of the moon. When close to the moon, LRO used its rocket motor to slow down until the gravity of the moon caught the spacecraft in lunar orbit. A series of four engine burns over the next four days placed the satellite into its commissioning phase orbit. During the commissioning phase, each of its seven instruments will be checked out and brought online. The commissioning phase will end approximately 60 days after launch, when LRO will use its engines to transition to its primary mission orbit. For its primary mission, LRO will orbit above the moon at about 31 miles, or 50 kilometers, for one year. The spacecraft's instruments will help scientists compile high resolution, three-dimensional maps of the lunar surface and also survey it at many spectral wavelengths. The satellite will explore the moon's deepest craters, examining permanently sunlit and shadowed regions, and provide understanding of the effects of lunar radiation on humans. LRO will return more data about the moon than any previous mission.

and from NASA. - LRK -

June 29 - A series of activities have been completed which have put LRO in lunar nadir pointing mode. The solar array is now tracking the sun and the spacecraft is flying with the +Z axis (instrument bore sight direction) looking down at the lunar surface. Now we can begin performing the High Gain Antenna and Gyro calibrations.

LRO initiated LOI-5 which was a 230.8 second burn (36 m/s) on Saturday. This placed LRO in a 31x199km 90.2 degree inclination polar orbit. The rocket burns initiated by controllers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., have helped the moon capture LRO into orbit, which arrived after a five-day journey.

LRO begins its primary mission of mapping the lunar surface to find future landing sites and searching for resources that would make possible a permanent human presence on the moon.

and - want to know where LRO is?

If you see something of interest with LRO, let me know.

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

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LRO Reaches Commissioning Orbit

Mon, 29 Jun 2009 11:43:59 AM PDT

The final rocket burn that put the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter into its
commissioning orbit around the moon was completed Saturday, June 27.

While LRO is in this temporary orbit, engineers will activate and test
the spacecraft's instruments.
Treasure Hunting on the Moon: LRO and the Search for Water

A bottle of one of the most expensive brands of water costs $40, and is presented in a frosted glass container decorated with crystal. On the moon, a bottle of water would run about $50,000, and forget about that heavy crystal glass. That's because it costs around $50,000 per pound to launch anything to the moon. Discovering water on the moon would be like finding a gold mine.

In fact, scientists have discovered evidence for water or hydrogen, a component of water, in special places on the moon. Since the moon is not tilted much from its rotation axis, the depths of certain craters in the lunar poles may not have seen the sun for billions of years. The long night over these areas, called Permanently Shaded Regions (PSRs), will have made them very cold, and able to trap hydrogen or water molecules as ice.



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